Horses To Follow » Zain Eagle

Zain Eagle

Zain Eagle has now progressed significantly from his two runs at the end of last season as a juvenile. He had won by a long way on his first run back in a maiden at Ripon in August and, although he had been allowed to dictate a steady pace there before quickening up in the home straight, the handicapper had taken a bit of a chance in allotting him a mark of 85. That rating allowed him to run in the classified stakes over a mile and a quarter at Doncaster last Friday, which he won really impressively.

He was held up there on that step up in trip and, while he travelled enthusiastically, he did settle fairly well, and he cruised into the race. He made up his ground under just a hands-and-heels ride from James Doyle between the two-furlongs pole and the furlong pole to pass the entire field and, once he got to the front, he continued to draw away readily. The form looks solid, the other progressive three-year-old in the race, the well-backed and well-regarded Amralah, finished second, but well behind, and he in turn was comfortably clear of the third horse.

Three-year-olds do have a very good record in this race, this was the ninth time a three-year-old had won it in 10 runnings, but that doesn’t mean that anything should be taken away from Zain Eagle. This was a really strong performance. He demonstrated his ability to handle easy ground here, so the ground for the rest of the season should not be a problem to him, and he deserves a shot at Group 3 company now. He could be even better than that. He has been raised 10lb to a mark of 95 for this win, and that still leaves him potentially really well handicapped, so Gerard Butler could go for a big handicap now first.

13th September 2013